Walking Your Own Path

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. To experience their pain, hardship and maybe joy. To explore what it really means to live and survive in an often-hostile landscape and environment. To see through their eyes the beauty and wonder that this planet had to offer?

Every time a look at the news it is about war, violence, politics, plastics in our oceans, crime, disorder, ill-health, greed and the like…… I am curious; did our ancient ancestors have the same issues or were they very different. How did this all come about?

I recently had a week of enlightening experiences, I was not expecting to partake in one of them; it all happened by chance. But I am learning in life as I walk along my own path to healing, that there are no coincidences. After receiving healing at Lupton a couple of weeks ago, I arrived later than normal, and when I came out The Tashi Lhunpo Monks were about to start their opening ceremony for their Peace Sand Mandala. I was invited to stay and how awe-inspiring I found both the monks, the creation of the Mandala and the significance of me of being there, at that point in time.

I felt such a strong urge to follow this path to see the creation of the Mandala and then witness its destruction, the following morning I made 45-minute journey to spend time mediating with the monks, before seeing more work on the mandala. During the mediation I found a depth of clarity and rewarding of how simplicity can aid in nourishing the soul, leaving behind the pain, trauma and stress that I seem to invite into my life.

I was unable to attend the following day but felt the urge to see this through. On the final day I decided that I would give yoga a miss and again return to Lupton, to witness the destruction of the beautiful peace mandala.
My soul was searching for healing, it has been just over a year since my father died and I have been finding the right moment to scatter his ashes. It seems that spending time with the monks was giving me strength through meditation to find a way forward. As the ceremony took place, I commented to a friend, that wouldn’t it be lovely if our cremated remains were the rainbow colours of the sand mandala, she said, ‘but they are, in here’ and held her hands to her heart. Oh how true, how the whole mandala is so symbolic of birth, life and death. As I watched the coloured sand pouring back into the water, it all started to make sense. We are but small grains, but together we can make something so beautiful and then return to the earth. I was invited to take a small amount of sand with me, knowing exactly what I intended to do with it.

The next day I had arranged to join a mindful walk on Dartmoor, exploring our ancestors, dowsing and using earth energy to connect with the landscape, although it was cold, wet and windy for most of the time, it was exhilarating to experience the harshness of the moor at its best. After exploring some tors, stones rows, round houses and stone circles, I became connected to the energy of the ancient ancestors that left their mark on the landscape.

To walk down a line of stone rows, that have stood since the bronze age; feeling the energy, following an ancient route that had a burial cairn at the top and then a gentle gradient downhill towards the river, again I was being shown the cycle of life. When you stand in the centre of a circle surrounded by stones and connect to your being, understanding how our ancestors studied the movement in the heavens of the sun and planets and built monuments that relate to moments in time, that have stood the test of millennia. It is with awe and complete wonderment that I wish to honour them, and myself. Four years ago, I would never have managed or even contemplated trekking over the moor. For me it is about never giving up hope and taking opportunities that cross my path.

Sometimes my healing journey takes me off at a tangent, now and again; but health is not just about aches and pains. I really believe that your soul needs to heal first, then mind and body will follow. I have learnt that well-meaning people will offer advice, and when you do not act on it, they feel put out. That’s their stuff to deal with, not mine. Making your own choices in life is important and only each and every one of us can know or experience what it is, for us.

My fathers ashes are now scattered together with those of two of our beloved dogs and a little bit of coloured sand, I have honoured my ancestors; now I feel, I am free to continue to walk my own path…..

Find out more about  Mindful walking tours

 

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The Journey Continues

As part of my holistic journey I have found sound therapy to be beneficial to the management of my chronic pain caused by Fibromyalgia, this sound has taken the form of gong, tuning forks, crystal bowls and drumming whilst also practicing yoga, Reiki and more recently joining a Zumba class. I would not have believed that I would have been able to participate in a dance fitness activity following my diagnosis in 2014, when I was walking with the aid of a stick. I have always maintained that I will keep on fighting this, exploring activities that I feel will benefit in assisting my body to heal itself. I believe that a lot of my healing has been a reaction to the sound and rhythm allowing the very cells of my body to absorb and be agitated, bringing them to life; it makes me smile, I feel happy and with that, energy seems to flow and the pain melts into the background.

I have always been interested in how our ancestors dealt with health conditions using herbs and natural therapies to alleviate pain and health conditions often administered by the wise elders of the indigenous groups around the world. Something that I feel, we have lost in our modern society of technology, stress and burn out.
This has led me on to the path of Shamanism, learning to feel the connection between nature, mother earth and my whole being. Rhythmic drum healing is a very ancient therapy that has been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures to promote wellbeing and healing using the natural law of resonance to restore the vibrational integration between mind, body and spirit.

I could not believe my luck when I was offered the opportunity to birth (make) my own Shamanic Drum in a one day bespoke workshop which was held locally.
Prior to the day we were asked to source a piece of wood to use as a beater, so during the storms and following the blizzards a couple of months ago, I wandered along the seashore and found a beautiful piece of drift wood, which I felt was perfect for my drum.
I attended the workshop with a mix of excitement and apprehension, after being so poorly at the start of this year with a chest infection and chronic fatigue, I knew that birthing a drum was going to be very special. I would be creating this wonderful tool for healing and it would be taking place on the full moon.

There were five of us attending the workshop, our first task was to select our 16 inch rounds of wood than had been handcrafted to form the frame for the drum.
It’s really strange when you sit and think about making a shamanic drum for yourself, I really wanted to feel that I was in touch with my ancient ancestors, the night prior I had not had the best of nights sleep and had been very restless so arrive feeling a bit jaded.
We were invited to select our deer skins that were outside in five buckets, Phil had had spent a lot of time in the days prior, preparing them for our use. He explained they were all different sizes. I selected the last reamaing bucket, this turned out to be the smallest skin.
At first I felt I little bit of disappointment, but then realisation that envy is something that I need to work with, I was starting to discover that my little deer was going to teach me some very valuable lessons in life. We started to connect with our drum, by some shamanic journeying which is similar to a deep mediation whilst a drum beat is played, we did this at various stages throughout the workshop.
After cutting out the circle to make the drum from the skin, we were asked to make the umbilical cord to lace it all together, from the same piece of skin. There was a concern that I would need to use an additional skin as my hide was quite small. However I ended up with about so much cord, I had a lot left over after I had laced it, my second lesson from my little deer, just because something is small, it does not mean that it cannot generate a bountiful supply.

Later we following the Shamanic tradition walking in single file, stepping in each other’s footsteps, while Alex drummed for us, making our way into the woods. We came to a large tree and then took it in turns to test the strength of our umbilical cord, which we had taken with us. We were asked to lean back and take the strain of the cord to see where it breaks, having completed that ritual, we returned to lace our drums.
This was the most challenging part of the process, I discovered you need a lot of strength to lace the back, to ensure the face is kept taught. I think this was the time when I felt most connected to the process and started referring to the drum as her, I don’t know how or why, I just knew. After a fair bit of effort and some help from Phil I finally birthed my drum.

I have been taught that great patience is required both during the making process and the need to be allowed to completely dry before being played, each day I kept going to look at the change in the colour on her face and eager to hear her first sound. Her markings are similar to looking at the moon, I see pure beauty; the significance of birthing my drum on a full moon is being able to use the strong energy as a very positive opportunity and illumination to the world.

Two weeks later, on the new moon when an energy portal is opened up to bring in your good intention and manifest healing energy, I knew it was time to hear her play. The sound that she gives out is so very special, I feel a very deep connection to nature, to my ancient ancestors and also to the spirit of the deer coming through the drum.

Earlier this week, after a particular challenging day, I picked up my drum, sat out in the garden in the evening sunlight and quietly played, letting the gentle rhythmic beats flow through my body, quieting my mind and bringing loving healing energy to my soul. I feel truly blessed, and so the journey continues……..

 

If you would like to know more ~

About birthing your own drum please contact  Phil Rowe Drums

About Sound Healing Sally Free ~ Sound Therapist

 

 

 

Dance to your own rhythm

This is me………………………………I am starting to emerge from wherever it is, that I have been lying dormant, waiting for this moment.

Life has been a bit of a struggle the last couple of months and I been battling with my health, not necessarily Fibromyalgia, but a lot of chronic fatigue and issues with coughing and the infection in my lung. Having had all the tests and the medical profession finding nothing to report, I had a bit of a déjà vu moment, in 2014 the day that I got my Fibro diagnosis, the life changing label. Only this time it was different. Nothing to report, no diagnosis, no further treatment. I was going to have to find my own way out through this again… I still had the cough, I still had the exhaustion and I still wanted to feel well again.

Having not been to a yoga class for 5 weeks, I decided now was the time to try to find a different sort of yoga, having been practicing a similar type of yoga since my fibro diagnosis, I wanted a more dynamic class, but one where I could still do my own thing, if all became too much.

Well I found it and the venue has a heated floor as well, luxury. It looks out onto the lush green valley side and whilst practicing you have the sound of nature; the screech of a buzzard, the chatter of nesting birds and a small brook babbling away. The class is so different from any other yoga I have taken part in, it is more active with options given for each pose. The session starts with mediation and breathing, which flows on into and through the practice. At the end of the class I feel more energetic, grounded and at peace with my body, mind and soul.

With my new found energy, I also decided I wanted to try out a new fitness class, I’m not a gym bunny and the ideal opportunity arose with a Zumba class. I went to the first session before I had my chest infection, and then unable to attend due to lack of breath for some weeks, I have now returned and I love it.

The fantastic movement that Zumba allows, even for those suffering from chronic pain is that you do what you can and what you want, within your own range of mobility. Even my lack of coordination doesn’t matter, my feet are often going the wrong way, but who cares there is no one watching; well at least I hope not! Apologies to those lovely ladies who end up behind me.
I think I shocked a few people at first, when they heard I had been to a Zumba class, “that’s fast going isn’t it?”, “you be careful” and “wow that’s amazing”. Yes it is amazing, and no matter how young or old you are, or feel, you are given a warm welcome and there are no judgements, your body joins into the rhythm of the music and it becomes contagious. After the class a few of us may even head to a local hostelry to replace our lost fluids!

I gradually started to feel better, the more I stretched and exercised my lungs, through walking, yoga, Zumba and a bit of light digging in the garden, the more the coughing ceased, my lungs felt more open and the tiredness began to evaporate. I even noticed that I danced across the lawn when the sun was out last week! I have started to feel more alive, energised and ready to absorb the new wonders that are awaiting me whilst I continue on this magical journey of self-healing, soul expansion and enlightenment.

I believe, if you really want to do something and improve your quality of your life, you just need to give it ago, do it your way. Listen to your own body, let your breath be your guide in dancing to your own rhythm, do what is right for you.

‘Dance like nobody’s watching.
If you sense they are, let them make eye contact and smile, show them that your soul is free.’

 

Want to find out more, please click on the links below

Yoga Loveliness                    Zumba – Shake it Fitness Devon

 

My recent blogs

Behind the Mask

The Crystal Healing Bed

 

 

My Quest for Healing

Those of you that follow my monthly blog, will know I use various therapies to support my healing from a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. I think it important to raise awareness of this and other chronic pain condition, I do not wish my blog to become a source of me feeling sorry for myself, I do not want to give this pain more energy than it already takes from me. So whilst I may not write about, how I feel tackling this condition on a daily basis, I am still fighting the battle and I am slowly winning. Just because I look well and don’t complain about the pain I am experiencing, does not mean that it is not happening.

Today I went for healing at Lupton House and after a short twenty minutes session for a minimum donation of £3. I feel amazing. I have been going to healing since I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I went weekly and it helped heal my mind, body and spirit. When I attended my first healing session, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. After completing some paperwork, I was led into a beautiful, tranquil and peaceful room with therapy beds set up with different coloured covers and warm cosy blankets, you choose the bed that you are drawn to, obviously not the one with other people on receiving their treatment! You lie down fully clothed just removing your shoes and you can have a blanket placed over you, whilst you close your eyes, relax and drift off somewhere nice.

The healers all work differently, some hands on, some hand off, some a mixture of both. Each time I receive healing it is always different, sometimes their hands feel warm, sometimes they feel cold, more often than not I see wonderful colours mainly purple and other times I see nothing at all, but feel energy pulsing through my body and a serene calmness envelops me like a hug.

The whole healing journey led me to my attunement for 1st and 2nd degree reiki which I use for healing on myself and the dog on a regular basis; however receiving the energy that is channelled through another healer is very powerful and a truly wonderful experience.

Healing as a Therapy seems to have lost is dark, mystical status and is more widely accepted as a Holistic form of healing, it does not take the place of conventional medicine but is often used alongside it to treat various conditions. The great thing is you don’t need to believe in any religion to experience this great therapy.

I had not been to Lupton since October last year, so for me it was lovely to be able to access the beautiful and tranquil space. This week for me, is about self- nurturing and finding my authentic self, there is the super blue blood moon eclipse, tomorrow 31st January and what better opportunity to remove the obstacles in my path, clear my throat chakra where I have been experiencing blockages, holding back and not saying the things that need to be said. The moon energy this month is about manifesting love and healing old wounds and with it being the start of the New Year, what better way than to purge the old way of life; start a new chapter and move on.

To assist in this moving on process, I have been given a new yoga teacher, taking the class that I have been attending for the past 4 years, I have never felt comfortable with change, but it is important to embrace it. When you create space, it can filled with wonderful experiences and kindred souls, if you allow it to.

To integrate all this change, movement and growth, a fantastic gong bath to look forward to on Friday evening.

I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family, supportive friends and like minded kindred spirits in my life. Thank you for helping me to stay strong when my body has been weak. I love you and value your presence whilst you accompany me, fighting chronic pain xx

 

 

The little studio with the big heart  –  The Studio Tqy for timetable & events

Gong Baths ~ Sally free Sounds for the soul

www.discoverlupton.com    Drop in healing Tuesdays 12-3 and 7-9

Embrace Change

A satisfied life is better than a successful life, because our success is measured by         others. But our satisfaction is measured by our own heart, mind and soul.”

When we meet someone for the first time, we often greet each other with our name, then what?  What do you do? It is then that you can be given a label. As humans we seem to have this inquisitive nature as to what another persons does, maybe to measure how successful they are; or to discover if they have anything in common with them. Why do we feel the need to have to be label someone?

All through life we are striving to become; to achieve the ultimate goal; but at what cost? So that we can be successful, so that we can be somebody, so that we can be given a label.

When you suffer from chronic pain, it can take over your life so much that it becomes who you are and starts to define you, but only if you let it! You have a choice, to give in to it and let it take you or to stand up and fight, as if your life depends on it. It is not easy.

Four years ago, I was ready to give in and let it take me, which it did for 6 months of my life. I was given a diagnoses, a label and then it started to define who I was and who I became.

You can change your label and how others see you, start by feeling satisfied with all the positive things you have in your life. From there you can begin to heal your body, mind and soul, start to believe and have hope that things do and will change.

I have spent the past 12 month’s blogging about various holistic therapies and practices that I have experienced, as part of my healing journey. I am not announcing that I am cured, but the change I feel in my health is noticeable, I am having less flair ups, I still suffer from pain and getting up each day is a battle, a battle that I fight every day and I will win, it about listening to my body and when I’m feeling tired taking a quick power nap.

My hips and knees often remind me that they are still attached to me with a deep seated pain inside the joint, I know that with some gentle yoga stretches I can encourage that heat to disperse taking with it the pain. Some yoga sessions I find, I feel so exhausted that I just stop, lie down on the mat, cover myself with a blanket and take a rest. It’s ok to do that. Listening to the change that your body is asking you to do.

Yoga is not an endurance test to bend yourself into some strange posture, it is about gentle stretching for the mind, body and soul and I have found this to be of benefit to managing my pain condition. Finding understanding teachers is a bonus, and after 4 years of practice I now find that I walk taller and I’m a lot more bendy than I ever thought I could be. I still can’t touch my toes, that’s ok, I’ve got long legs and short arms!

As this year comes to an end, I embrace all that has changed as I continue on my healing journey; there are people that have touched my soul, made me stop and question who I am and who I want to be. There are acquaintances who I believe crossed into my karmic path for reasons that will someday be coming clearer. There are also those kindred spirits who consistently surround me with their love and support and to them I am eternally grateful.

I have ………love, laughter, peace and harmony in my heart, mind and soul and I know that I am truly satisfied. I will let you measure my success!

 

 

Journey for the Soul

Trying out alternative therapies can be considered to be a strange occupation, but I will give anything a go. I have always been a bit curious as to how things work. I have stopped trying to analyse, how, why what…… I now just go with it.

Last week I went to a Deep Shamanic Soul Journey workshop. Well you may have watch shamanic practices on TV documentary programmes and your imagination can get the better of you. For the first time in my journey of Holistic healing I felt anxious. I had absolutely no idea what to expect; all I knew was that there would be drums, gongs and a didgeridoo.

When I left to embark on this work shop my long suffering husband of my alternative lifestyle trials said, “have a good day, please do not come back changed.” I did not question what he meant and left with my sheepskin rug, blankets and cushion ready for an adventure.

What I didn’t realise when you embark on a shamanic journey is that you need to set your intention. This can be whatever you want to it to be or know, so can be an effective form of self-healing. The purpose for the day was to find our authentic self and identify blocks that may be preventing us from being us.

Our first journey was using the drum, didgeridoo and gong, proving deep vibrations to assist in the body and mind exploring what may be holding us back or what we need to take with us to aid in our journey.
We did two other journeys on different levels using gong and drums and then just the drums.

It was cathartic and then we got to express ourselves in whatever way we wanted whilst the rest of the group continued to drum and shake rattles, tambourines and other instruments. It was fantastic when it became by turn, I felt so free, dancing to the drum beat, swirling round and yipping with glee. Not being judged; being my true authentic self.

This was followed by some amazing trance style dancing, which was great just listening to the music and letting your body flow, twist and move.
The workshop ended with a fire celebration, where we all place a bundle of greenery we had collected into the fire and the rest of the group drummed. Very powerful, connecting with nature.

I left feeling wonderful, free and surprisingly in no pain what so ever, even after all that dancing!
I now have a burning desire to make my own drum…..what is all that about!

Returning home, my husband took one look at me and said “well that’s good you still look the same!” I asked what he meant and having watched the same TV documentaries he imagined me taking hallucinogenic plants and the licking of toads……..
Well I can assure you nothing like that happened, however I did feel amazing and I do feel different. I walk taller, but that could be due to a new yoga teacher who stretched the spaces between my ribs, but that’s another story!

Whatever your journey, make it an adventure and let your sparkle shine from within.